Sketching pencils come in different numbers. It is the numbers which are used to tell you how bright or strong the pencil graphite is. Have you ever used a pencil whose graphite reduced very fast? Yes, there are pencils whose graphite are soft and so they tend to reduce very fast. There are others whose graphite can take a lot of time. There are also some pencils which are dark while others are very dull. In the range of dullness, there are some which are slightly dull while others are very dull. What makes the difference between the dark, dull and hard pencils is pencil numbers. This can be well explained by showing the ranges.
The H pencils
This range starts all the way from 9H pencils to the H pencil. in between the range are the 8H,7H,6H,5H,4H,3H, and 2H. these numbers mean that the graphite of the pencil in this range are hard. The letter H stands for Hard. The 9H is the hardest in this case while the H is the softest. These numbers also mean that the graphite which is used to make the pencils are dull. They do not give a dark drawing at all. The H9 is the dullest while the H is the less dull pencil. the H cannot be considered to be dark since there is another group of pencil colors which are darker than the H pencil.
The B pencils
Letter B is also used to give the numbers of pencils. Any pencil with the H in their numbers means that the graphite used in making the pencil is soft. In this case, 9B is the softest while the B pencil is the hardest in the range of the B pencils. Letter B stands for the softness of the graphite. At the same time, the B pencils mean that their graphite is dark. Therefore, they can be used for making a drawing darker than the H pencils.
This is the most common pencil which is preferred by students. It lies in the middle of the range from 9H and 9B in a straight line. This means that it is relatively strong and dark at the same time. This is the reason it is most preferred by students. If you are doing sketching for the first time or you are just a beginner, this option is the best for you.
Between H and HB there is number F. this number means that it is the hardest in the range of B pencils and the softest in the range of H pencils. It can also be used instead of the HB. This is a rare number for most of the of the artists. However, it can give you the best result without having to sharpen the pencil severally while at the same time it is dark and so visible.
To conclude, pencils are given numbers based on the strength of the graphite and the darkness of the graphite. With the range given above, you can understand what each number means and so be able to make the right decision.